The Pharisees sent one of their men to ask Jesus a question as a test. The question was: 'which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus summed up the whole teachings of the prophets and the laws into two commandments. The first one was: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second commandment was: "Love your neighbour as yourself.
We know how to love God but the command to love our neighbour is questionable. The parable of the rich young man in Mark 10,17-31 indicates that he kept all commandments but when Jesus asked him to serve he felt sad and walked away. To love neighbour is not limited to people who are near to us but it also extends to all humanity because the love of God prepares a way for us to love our neighbour. To love our neighbour means to serve one another in the way God loves us. To serve one another in our faith community has a special name. It is a ministry to serve. Everyone in a faith community must take on a ministry. It doesn't matter how big or small. It is not based on the important of the task assigned. Some people have more time and are endowed with talents and gifts and others have less. What counts is not the quantity but the commitment, the quality you are serving other community members with. Serving without commitment made in advance is not a ministry but simply responding to the need at a time. Your generosity in responding on the spot is much appreciated but it is not a ministry. A ministry is a task that parishioners make themselves available with a firm commitment to serve. They know in advance and prepare for it before hand and that commitment manifests the commitment to serve our neighbour. The parish has more than 36 ministries available for you to choose and if none of them suits you then I am happy to discuss with you to find another that helps you to fulfil the commandment to love your neighbour as yourself. Currently we need people to set up Christmas lights and decorate the Church ready for the Holy Season. We also need people to welcome and take care of visitors who come to enjoy the lights and entertainment. Make a commitment to serve, to make your ministry in active. Your ministry will help take the pressure off of the shoulders of the few and that is what we would like to see in our parish and that is the way to show our love for our neighbour.
Our hearts hold our feelings and direct our lives. If the love of God which is in your hearts is not flowing through actions then there is something not right and you need to work out what is holding your back. It is rather hard to justify when we go to the Eucharist but are isolated from parish life. True disciples of Jesus must through their ministry add value to someone else's life otherwise they are Christians in name only.